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Tuesday, 3 February 2009 - Strasbourg OJ edition

Sanctions against employers of illegally staying third-country nationals (debate)

  Philip Claeys (NI). - (NL) It is to be welcomed that a directive will be introduced that will penalise employers of illegal immigrants. It is stated, with good reason, that the possibility of finding a job in the European Union is an attractive factor for illegal immigration. We should, however, be consistent and also tackle the other factors that attract immigrants. The most important of these factors is the impunity with which aliens can come to Europe illegally. There are, in fact, Member States that reward illegal aliens, the mass regularisations in Spain, Italy and Belgium, among others, being a case in point.

There is also the hypocrisy of the so-called individual regularisations on humanitarian grounds. Last year alone, there were no fewer than 12 000 in as small a country as Belgium. Illegal immigrants should be deported, not regularised, for indeed, every regularised illegal immigrant attracts a multitude of new immigrants. Every Member State that regularises them does so on behalf of the other Member States. It is therefore not enough to tackle the employers. We must address illegal immigration in its entire context.

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